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Home » I Ching » I Ching Hexagram 21: 噬嗑 “Biting Through” – Shih Ho

I Ching Hexagram 21: 噬嗑 “Biting Through” – Shih Ho

What Is I Ching Hexagram 21: 噬嗑 “Biting Through” ?

Shih Ho is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 21. With inner and outer trigrams forming fire over thunder, this Hexagram is called ‘biting through’ or alternatively named ‘gnawing bite’ or ‘biting and chewing’.

Hexagram 21 symbolizes injustice. This hexagram represents crime in all of its forms and warns to be aware of this issue in society and in the actions of others.

It is detrimental to allow unreasonable actions exist without reporting the problem. Turning a blind eye to a problem will not allow the situation to disappear; it will only intensify till someone gets hurt.

A caster will normally discover Hexagram 21 when a crime is the heart of a problem. Being attentive at work and in the home can help reveal the issue behind serious problems.Interpretation & Meaning of IChing Hexagram 21: 噬嗑 "Biting Through" - Shih Ho

Interpretation & Meaning of Hexagram 21:

Hexagram 21 in general symbolizes harmony. It also shows how in order to sustain a balanced universe; justice must be implicated in order to achieve this balance. Crime is the wrong doing by someone or a group of people against society or an individual.

It can be as common as stealing or as harsh as causing harm to the human body. Certain rules are put into place to rid a community of crime such as laws that allow punishable consequences for crimes. In other situations individuals must be willing to stand up for what is right.

No crime to small or to large should ever go unrecognized or undealt with. There is a process that can be taken to allow crimes to be properly dealt with in order to destroy a problem. This can call for a group effort of everyone in one company department or entire community to solve the issues.

It’s important to be proactive in resolving crimes in an area. At first it can be hard to find others that have the same perspective or have recognized the same issues, but through hard work and determination, all problems can be solved.

I Ching Hexagram 21 – Personal Goals:

If you see someone being talked down too, put in the effort to stand up for that person in order to prevent any harm. There are several different forms of harm including verbal and physical. Being able to bring justice to a wrongful circumstance can help bring harmony back into the life path.

I Ching Hexagram 21 – Love:

Sometimes injustice is found within the house hold. Those we care and love the most often have the easiest time hiding the truth. Our feelings can over shadow what the real problem is when communication has failed in a relationship.

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It can be hard to discover the crimes of those we care about, but in order to maintain balance in a community, all criminals need to be taken seriously and dealt with properly.

I Ching Hexagram 21 – Career & Business:

In the work environment, if you notice unusual activity, take the time to investigate the problem. Through deliberate research, you can uncover criminal activity against the company you work for. This could include embezzlement of company funds or a co-worker treating another associate wrongfully.

Sexual abuse in the work area is a very serious criminal offense. Sometimes the victim can have a hard time standing up for themselves, so it is up to those who realize the problem to take action against criminal behavior.


BITING THROUGH has success.
It is favorable to let justice be administered.


Thunder and lighting:
The image of BITING THROUGH.
Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws
Through clearly defined penalties.


Hexagram 21 is called biting through because it is difficult to uphold justice. It takes a lot of effort and diligence in order to progress and ride an area of criminal activity. The easiest places to start are in the home and in the work environment. By being attentive and observant, unfair actions can be taken care.

Proper consequences can be put into place to prevent similar conditions from happening again. By upholding justice, you then become an important part of maintaining balance in your life, the lives of others around, and a moving cog in the universe.

The 64 Hexagrams

1乾 Force Ch’ien2坤 Field K’un
3屯 Difficult in the Beginning Chun4蒙 Youthful Folly Meng
5需 Waiting Hsu6訟 Conflict Sung
7師 Integrity Shih8比 Holding Together Pi
9小畜 Attention To Detail Hsiao Ch’u10履 Correct Conduct Lu
11泰 Peace T’ai12否 Stagnation P’i
13同人 Fellowship T’ung Jen14大有 Abundance Ta Yu
15謙 Humbling Ch’ien16豫 Enthusiasm Yu
17隨 Following Sui18蠱 Correcting Ku
19臨 Nearing Lin20觀 Observation Kuan
21噬嗑 Biting Through Shih Ho22賁 Grace Pi
23剝 Splitting Apart Po24復 Returning Fu
25無妄 Innocence Wu Wang26大畜 Great Accumulating Ta Ch’u
27頤 Nourishment I28大過 Preponderance of the Great Ta Kuo
29坎The Abysmal K’an30離Radiance Li
31咸Courtship Hsien32恆Constancy Heng
33遯 Retreat Tun34大壯 Great Invigorating Ta Chuang
35晉 Progress Chin36明夷 Darkening of the Light Ming I
37家人 The Family Chai Jen38睽 Opposition K’uei
39蹇 Obstruction Chien40解 Deliverance Hsieh
41損 Decrease Sun42益 Increase I
43夬 Displacement Kuai44姤 Coming to Meet Kou
45萃 Gathering Together Ts’ui46升 Ascending Sheng
47困 Exhaustion K’un48井 The Well Ching
49革 Revolution Ko50鼎 The Cauldron Ting
51震 The Arousing Chen52艮 Stilling Ken
53漸 Gradual Progress Chien54歸 妹 The Marrying Maiden Kuei Mei
55豐 Abundance Feng56旅 The Wanderer Lu
57巽 Ground Sun58兌 Open Tui
59渙 Dispersion Huan60節 Limitation Chieh
61中孚 Center Returning Chung Fu62小 過 Small Surpassing Hsaio Kup
63既 濟 After Completion Chi Chi64未 濟 Before Completion Wei Chi
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